the term Hunnen is a name for a group within centralasiatic people shanks with nomadischer, late halbnomadischer way of life. They were originally in the area between the today kirgisischen Yssykköl - lake and the today's Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar resident and should play an important role for further asiatic and European history.

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name origin and - use

the word “Hunne” (in the language Hsiung nu it read Hun) with the meaning of“Humans” or “people”. It is related to the tungusischen Chun, which “Kraft” or “courage” meant. Chün became also the Chinese designation of a prince.

The term “Hunnen” was used particularly by the Nichtchinesen, the Chinese designated it insteadas “Hsiung nu “. After Samarkand arranged a letter of a sogdischen dealer from the China early 4. Century may clarify that:

Gentleman, who fled last emperors, like it say from Saragh (Luoyang) before the hunger emergency. Its fastenedResidence and the firm city were handed over to the fire. ... Further the emperor was made the prisoner and led into the shank of the Hunnen. And it (were)… in Chumdan (Ch'ang on) and plünderten the country - this Hunnen, thoseyesterday still the property of the emperor were!

Today one uses Turkish “Mete Batur Kagan” for the realm Mao duns (move 210-174 v. Chr.) and its direct successors prefers the Chinese term Hsiung nu. One illustrates with the fact that Hsiung nu and Hunnen notto be identical must; the newer research does not assume that also mostly any longer. Because finally it concerned a Nomadengruppe, which organized itself, separated depending upon political circumstances in rudimentary commonwealth and organized again, thusthat some questions to their composition will remain always open (see also:Ethnogenese).

To the center 4. Century at the border of Central Europe emerging groups, particularly the realm Attilas (move ), one always says Hunnen to 434-453. In this articlethese are treated ago in our culture area since age “Hunnen” of trunks mentioned and the associated people migration, the other connections are under “Hsiung nu “to be found.

In the antique historiography the term Hunne designates besides often only one people,which originated from the enormous steppe region of central Asia, without with it a statement would be connected by the ethnical affiliation.

the asiatic Hunnen

the origin that today generally as Hunnen of designated trunks (black Hunnen or European Hunnenetc.) carried out itself in the context of the split up and going down Hsiung nu realm.

Einflussbereich der Hsiung-nu 209 v. Chr. – 216 n. Chr.
Sphere of influence Hsiung nu of the 209 v. Chr. - 216 n. Chr.

The Hsiung nu realm had split in the year 48 under P'u nu into a northern and a southern part. Under thatsouth Hsiung nu to-kuo one registered 93/94 again an agreement Hsiung nu, however she lasted not for a long time. As Tan ski huai (approx. 156-181) its pi to its power high point led, gave north Hsiung nu according to Chinese chronicles in the year 158 the east Turkestan up and the Altaiand left themselves north of Kang chu (i.e. northeast the Aral Sea) down.

This Altai Hunnen is generally called today black Hunnen, there also the today's Turks these as “Kara Hun” (türk.: Kara = black) designate. As alternative name one could toothis Hunnengruppe “say European Hunnen”, since also the today's Turks call these every now and then Avrupa Hunları, but the term “black Hunnen” is more common in Europe.

The people consisted mainly of Turko Mongols, whereby the mongolide influence in the process thatWest migration decreasing and the indogermanische influence was increasing surely. They are considered as direct relatives the Onoguren (those as part of the Hunnen to be often regarded) and the west Turks. A later self-designation for these races reads: Khara Bulkhar/Qara Bolqar - black ones Bulgaren.

The following table shows the well-known names of the hunnischen trunks and late single peoples coming out from them.

Table with the trunks of the asiatic Hunnen of the yearly 300
master name single people
Hun Hunnen
Uange, Bugu, Bayegu, Tunlo, Sygye, Husye, Highye, Adyeor Eduz, Baysi Uyghuren
Seyanto, Kibi, Dubo, Dolange, Bayegu Scha t'o
Guligan Jakuten
Dolange, Husye, Highye, Adye or Eduz, Baysi Telegiten

the actual “Hunnensturm” began in 4. Century: In the year 350 attacks of one began as Chioniten designated hunnischen group approximatelythe realm of the Sassaniden under Schapur II. in (Baktrien).

The Chioniten conquered to 360 Baktrien, in addition parts Iran and pushed the Kidariten to regard (rather as remainders Yüe tschi under Kidara) to Afghanistan and north India. Themif the Hephthaliten ( “white Hunnen”, see also the historical work of the Prokopios of Caesarea) followed, which exceeded 425 Syr daja and to 450 in fact the rule over the Chioniten took over. At a chronologically unclear time (451 or 484)also the time of the Kidariten ended. The white Hunnen had substantial portion of the fall of the Indian large realm of the Gupta and led also several arguments with Persia (484 death of the Sassaniden Peroz I., 498/99 interference into the sassanidischen throne disputes).

Those“White Hunnen” of peoples mentioned is placed from the Chinese chronicles to the indogermanischen TA-Yüe-tschi. According to the chronicler Prokop differentiated it with respect to way of life, appearance and customs of the European Hunnen, nevertheless saw themselves he with respect to them “Hunnen”. Today those countmost historian and language researcher the “white Hunnen” to the indogermanischen Tocharern.

the European Hunnen (black Hunnen)

Der Einfall der Hunnen in Europa
the idea of the Hunnen in Europe

the beginning of the people migration

to the turn of an era controlled indogermanische trunks from thatGroup of the Sarmaten used with the Skythen quilts Eastern Europe (Iazygen, Roxolanen, Alanen), in 2. Century were added the Goten .

That changed, as a part of the black Hunnen in 4. Century the large people migration released.As reason a climatic change is assumed, so that the food for the herds, which became scarce base of life of the Nomaden. Under their leader Balamir (or Balamber, whose history quotation is however doubtful) exceeded the Hunnen the Volga. There they smashed approximately 374 the realm of the Alanen in the area of the Volga and the Caucasus and closed an alliance with them. On the Taurus peninsula (Krim) they destroyed 375 the realm of the Greutungen Ermanarichs, which became likewise soon thereafter their allied ones (see. above all Ammianus Marcellinus, 31, 2f.).

In the future they reached the borders of the eastRoman realm, so that the Terwingen approx. 394 from the black sea area fled. The eastRoman population gave now a name to the black Hunnen,the late all asiatic rider peoples were designated:Tartaros = Tartaren. (We know this word with: “Teufli” translates, there it of Greek ταρταρος = “hell” or “underworld” descends.) with the Hunnen came also an asiatic illness to Europe: The smallpox.

The black Hunnen made an almost dämonischen impression on its enemies: With them it was to cut according to data of the Jordanes, custom, the male infants the faces in order to prevent the beard stature. The Krieger lubricated themselves black earthinto the combat wounds, so that there thick-membranous scars formed. Also they practiced the custom of the head deformation, why many Hunnen exhibited high tower heads. So distorted heads were found both in Thuringia and at the Talas (Kirgisien). The upper head becameas exterior indication of their subjecting bald, since only horde/hurdle leader the called “Khagan “possessed the right to carry long main hair.

"Die Hunnen im Kampf mit den Alanen": Phantasiedarstellung (1873) von Johann Nepomuk Geiger (1805-1880). Die Reitkunst und Bewaffnung der Hunnen sind vermutlich realistisch darstellt. Es fehlen jedoch die Steigbügel. Die dargestellte asiatische Physiognomie erweckt den Eindruck von Homogenität, der wohl nicht der Wahrheit entspricht.
“The Hunnen in the fight with the Alanen”: Fantasy representation (1873) of Johann Nepomuk violonist (1805-1880). The equitation and armamentthe Hunnen are probably realistically represents. However the stirrups are missing. The represented asiatic Physiognomie arouses the impression from homogeneity, to which probably does not correspond to the truth.

Concerning the combat equipment to horses were far superior the Hunnen to the Europeans: Like allcentralasiatic Reiterhirten was also them extraordinary riders and elbow contactors. Multicolored volumes in their long Zöpfen carried for best elbow contactors. With the Hunnen a revolutionary invention came to Europe: sturdy saddles with trained stirrups. The Romans could do also easySaddles, but no stirrups. By the stable stop and the stirrups the hunnische Reiterei in a the position was to fight two-handedly of horses out since they could steer this now with the thighs. Also the Europeans led a reducedFight to horses, but they preferred the fight man against man.

Hunni guidance problems

the Hunnen had first no comprehensively recognized top management. Thus they represented no special danger and could even by groups at various places in Roman Pay to be taken.

There it e.g. gave. the leaders Basich and Kursisch, which came 395 over the Caucasus and Roman like Persian area between Antiochia and Ktesiphon plünderten, until they were struck by the Persern. The reason for the raidwas a hunger emergency in its area - they drove innumerable cattle off. Later they sought in Rome an alliance. In the same period Uldin played itself as a leader of the Hunnen opposite the Romans into the foreground, to it due tofrom failures around 408/09 of the stage disappeared. The next leader seems to have been Karaton. It is occupied for 412/ 13 and seems Uldins Mitregent to have been, but its reign is vacant.

Those become more seizablenext leader, the brothers Mundschuk, Oktar and Rua. But Oktar led the realm so badly that him a Kuriltai replaced already 430 to off and by its younger brother Rua (Rugila) (after a church report was Oktar (Uptar) at Völlerei diedits). Rua was first, which could ensure a uniform guidance of the Hunnen, the what in a more energetic foreign policy settled. The Romans agreed with him on an armistice and had to carry moderate tribute payments out. But promised the Hunne, Rome inTo place case of need troops, which e.g. in case of the Burgunder also happened (Nibelungensage).

the large king Attila

after sudden death Ruas (alleged spring 434) became the realm between its nephews and/or. Mundschuks sons Bleda and Attila divided. Bleda inherited the east, Attila the west of the realm. The leader of the Akh Bulkhar/Aq Bolqar, was recognized Bleda as the older of the brothers of the trunks formally than Khagan, but that practiced true powerpurposeful Attila out, which was appointed the leader of the Khara Bulkhar/Qara Bolqar. About Bleda it is said that he was vernarrt named Zerkon over-courageously and into the fun of a dwarf, while Attila disapproved the dwarf and Bledas behavior. The two are governed together, but Attilas name is nevertheless alone mentioned with all political and martial actions.

At a not completely clarified time end of 444 /Anfang 445 was murdered Bleda of Attila. There also a Münzfund with Szikancs (east Hungary, 1439 ByzantineGold coins, which last of 443) at this time and was not gotten back, its appendix was buried seems to have been switched off likewise. Perhaps Bleda wanted to thus displace the brother of power in the spring 445 for his part. It was itself important voicesthe coming prince meeting reliably, there Attila let it briefly murder before the arrival of the master and Klanfürsten by assassins.

Under the autocrat Attila reached the power of the black Hunnen their high point. On behalf westRoman field gentlemen Aëtius smashed hunnische auxiliary troops 436 the realm of the Burgunder, which were since 400 on the middle Rhine. Thus the Hunnen king Attila, which was however involved in it, became an important component of the German hero legend: He is the king Etzel of the Nibelungen - song.

Center 5. Century began to become established the black Hunnen: The main settlement area of the people lay in the meantime in the Theissebene, where Attila had its army seat since 444; the black Hunnen Europe lost the contact to the other hunnischen peoples.Attila got a palace from wood, of stakes fenced, even if the Hunnen lived still in the tent. A Minister bathed even in his own bath, the exception absolutely. There was a frühfeudale ranking to yards. Earned people became owing toRoman gold supplied with pensions, goods or privileges had - so e.g. the influential Minister Onegesius was allowed to keep its prisoners. But the Roman service was evenly nevertheless more attractive - Attila reclaimed Hunnen as run away Vasallen of the eastRoman emperor.

Inthe years between 441 and 447 Attila devastated the entire Balkans area and put the cities Belgrade and Sofia in debris and ash. It forced eastRoman emperors Theodosius II. at that time. to high tribute payments. Emperor Markian however placed the tribute payments; Attila had to look around for a new source, particularly since the European provinces of east Rome were already devastated.

Das Reich Attilas (434-453)
The realm Attilas (434-453)

Attila pulled finally against west Rome: It marched across Gallien and met 451 on its former allied one Flavius Aëtius, the governor Westroms: This was in the meantime allied with the master kings of Franconias, Burgunder and Westgoten and struck Attila among other things and its eastgothical , gepidische Vasallen in the battle on the Katalauni fields back. The battle endedwithout winners, both sides had heavy losses, but the moral of the Hunnen was shaken, particularly since Attila had to begin the retreat.

Attila pulled then to Italy and devastated several cities (among other things Aquileia), had itself then however into the Hungarian lowlandseswithdraw; the alleged meeting with Pope Leo I., the Attila from it to have held is Rome too plündern, is however hardly historical. But in the reason Attila represented no more serious danger already since its retreat from Gallien. (Whereby thatagain a question of the aspect is, because Attila has itself held for the risk of a raid in Gallien, far far away from its natural master country, well.) also east Rome nevertheless rejected further tribute payments; at the same time eastRoman troops attacked hunnisches area.

purge and fall

in the year 453 married Attila the burgundische king daughter Hildico and already died at the wedding night, according to excessive quantity at a Blutsturz. Now the rapid purge of the black Hunnen realm began. By internal arguments (waste of the Gepiden, Ostgoten and others) around 454/55 strongly torn, lost them finally their impact force. Ellac (İleks, Oleg) fell 455 at the Nedao, Dengizik 469 in the war against east Rome. Hunnen served later still than mercenaries, approximately for east Rome (during the wars Justiniansit among other things of Belisar assigned).

The black Hunnen came up now in other peoples. Some of them (under Ernak) was settled under Roman upper rule in the later Dobrudscha. These Volksteile should one of the basic sticks for the later Gagausen form. Others established themselves at the today's Serbian - Bulgarian border and came up in the slawischen ancestors of the today's Mazedonier . A third group remained in the today's Hungary (the name „Hungary “is falsely attributed to the Hunnen) andcontinued to pull in the future also after filter defiency guarantees : From them became alleged in 9. Century the magyarische race of the Székler, this is however very doubtful, since other explanations for the origin of the Székler are far more convincing.

At the runsthe lower Volga settled likewise still remainders of the Hunno Bulgaren. Isolated ones hunnische people fragments were mentioned still in the years between 539 and 540 by Greek historical writers, when these advanced until Korinth and Konstantinopel. The Byzantiner finally rushed its princesSandilkh (Utriguren) and Zabergan (Kutriguren) 558/60 one on the other, in addition the Awaren attacked . So also those remainders in other Turkvölkern should come up: As most important follow-up trunks are here only the Wolgabulgaren, Chasaren, Petschenegen and Kumanen mentioned.

material culture of the European Hunnen

as typical characteristic of the black Hunnen Europe apply round bronze metal mirrors, which had generally taken over the Hunnen from the Chinese and who dead ones were given as grave with gift. Exactly the same as peculiarlarge copper boiler (to 50kg heavily, verziert at the edge with sheds), which likewise originated probably from China and as victim containers were used. These bronze boilers were in Hungary just like in Romania, Kazakhstan, Russia including Permian area and in Minusinsk.Characteristic hunnische Ziermotive is the Lebensbaum and robbery bird heads, above all the eagle enjoyed with the Hunnen of large popularity, like also with the Iranian steppe peoples (Sarmaten , Alanen), from those the Goten and other Teutons of trunks the motive for eaglehad taken over.

The Krieger of the black Hunnen fought usually mounted with the enormously copy-strong Kompositbogen, for close combat to horses used them a very long zweischneidiges sword, which is called also sarmatisches long sword or sassanidisches long sword. Forall Hunnen a einschneidiges, sword-like short sword carried the fight to foot. The Hunnen was rarely with difficulty beru constant, beside the leathers - and skin clothes skin caps or Spangenhelme were carried.

Hunni graves are usually single graves, often in thatProximity put on by rivers. Often the hunnischen Kriegern ride saddle, leaving, ride whips and also to the grave given Zaumzeug of their horses, sometimes even the animals themselves. For hunnische women large Ohrringe, making were typicalamong them front volumes from gold carried, verziert with red Almandin and Perlmutteinlagen.

to the religion

the majority of the Hunnen had a nature-connected religion, like at that time, at times Attilas invariably when they came from Asia.One exercised fortune-telling and shame anise mash, whereby the Schamanen at the name contraction “- came” (Atakam, Eskam) to recognize was. Entrails-look and shoulder-sheet-look as means of the forecast are delivered, whereby Jordanus did not indicate whether thereby as in Asia in the fire heats the Schulterblätter upbecame. The natural forces were göttlich, similar seaweed Kök/Gök Tengri” as already with Hsiung nu, with those to “, the sky, which was highest divinity. Thus the Hunnen did not wash itself and its dresses except for few exceptions (Attila themselves). Surely appliedalso the flowing water as with the Mongols as alive and had to be kept accordingly pure.

For the Hunnen the ruler was God similar, because he saw himself from God (seaweed Tengri) to the ruler and king (Yabgu/Tangriqut)appointed and with the sun (seaweed Kun/Gün Tengri) one compared. Anyhow one represented the God similarity Attilas, which maintained a modest exterior however at least opposite its Hunnen opposite a Roman mediator.

There are also referring to successful catholic Missionierungsversuche with thatHunnen. However the invariably continuing plunderings - and associated acts of violence in churches - witness of the fact that it concerned here only Roman dreams. There was still an established catholic population in the hunnisch occupied Pannonien,but the Hunnen did not take over obviously the faith of the defeated ones. More attractively the arianische faith of the Goten might have been, which equaled the Hunnen in rank nearly.

At cult articles there were Idole from gold and electron as with the Sarmaten and Alanen, the further Amulette and schamanistisch coined/shaped masks. Some Idole were melted by the Hunnenführer Grod around 528, in order to manufacture coins, which entailed its execution by its brother.


  • of reference works to Hunnen with the study assistanceto the archaeology and art of Central Asia.
  • Franz old home: History of the Hunnen, 5 volumes, Berlin 1959 FF.
    (Older standard work.)
  • Bodo Anke: Studies for the reiternomadischen culture 4. to 5. Century. Contributions for the Ur and early history of Central Europe 8, Wilkau Hasslau 1998, ISBN 3-930036-11-8.
  • Istvan Bóna: The Hunnenreich, Stuttgart 1991.
    (Particularly due to the inclusion of archaeological realizations worth reading.)
  • Peter J. Heather: The Huns and the end to OF the novel Empire in Western Europe, in: English Historical Review 110 (1995),S. 4–41.
  • Otto J. Maenchen helping: The world of the Hunnen, Wiesbaden 1997.
    (German Erstaufl. 1978. Standard work, but partly incompletely; however the German translation was revised by Robert Göbl and therefore the English original to prefer.)
  • Wilfried (Hrsg.): Teuton, Hunnenand Awaren. Treasures of the people migration time. The archaeology 5. and 6. Century at the middle Danube and the eastern merowingische row grave circle. Exhibition catalogs of the Germanic national museum, Nuremberg 1987, ISBN 3-9801529-4-4.
  • Edward A. Thompson: The Huns, Oxford 1999.
    (Aufl. outthe 40's, with an epilog by Peter Heather; .) [work on
] see still

worth reading also

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